Why we say Black Lives Matter, an invitation to community dialogue.
Perhaps you noticed that our Black Lives Matter banner has been vandalized twice this year, most recently this past week. Maybe you were the one who took a marker to it. We want you to know why this banner is important to us and how to reach us if you desire to talk about it. A much fuller, and, we believe, more constructive, conversation is possible face-to-face.
We believe that our Christian faith and practice teaches us to affirm that all life is sacred; all human beings are created in the image of God. When any life ends, particularly early or violently, it is a great sadness. The lives of police officers, sanitation workers, firefighters, and others who pledge to protect and serve our communities matter immensely to God and to us. The banner we display here does not read “Black Lives Matter” because other lives do not matter, but because in the history of our country, and, too often, in the history of our Christian churches, black lives have not mattered at all or nearly enough. Because all lives are sacred, our Christian practice calls us to attend particularly, publicly, and persistently to those individuals or communities whose lives are shortened, threatened, degraded, or cast aside. This is what loving our neighbor as ourselves means to us.
We join with the Black Lives Matter movement and the black leaders at the forefront of the movement, many of them sharing our faith, to proclaim that as black lives are threatened with violence, often from law enforcement, we will not be silent. We will pray, speak, and march for as long as it takes to uproot racism and white supremacy. A Black Lives Matter banner will be here until we reach the full flowering of racial justice in our land. Black Lives Matter far more than banners or the effort taken to replace them. If you would like a Black Lives Matter button to take with you or to respectfully dialogue with one of the pastors about our banner and all that it represents, you may email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Greenpoint Reformed Church